Skip to comments.Alcohol vs. Marijuana (Part 1)
Posted on 01/28/2014 4:11:40 AM PST by Kaslin
I understand the arguments for the legalization of marijuana: It can generate tax revenue. It can reduce illegal supply and demand. It can strip power from cartels and lessen crime across and at our borders. And it isn't so dangerous as other illegal drugs or alcohol.
President Barack Obama even claimed one of those arguments when he recently told New Yorker Editor David Remnick, "As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life."
Obama explained, "(Smoking marijuana is) not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy." But then he added, "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."
With the president entering the cannabis conversation ring, debate has intensified around the nation. But what's the truth in the alcohol-vs.-marijuana dispute?
CNN recently reported on some extensive studies and evidence surrounding the topic, especially in comparing use, addiction, withdrawal and the effects on using motorized vehicles. Let me summarize those and cite some others. (Next week, I will discuss in greater detail how alcohol and marijuana compare in their effects on our minds, bodies and relationships.)
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol remains the leading addictive substance consumed in the U.S. But according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I substance -- in the same classification as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that 9 percent of marijuana users will become addicted to it. (By comparison, about 20 percent of cocaine users become addicted.) More than 4 million people abused pot or had an addiction problem with it in 2011, according to Fox News.
Alcoholics can suffer from the following withdrawal symptoms: depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, fever, nausea and even seizures. And CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explained, "There is clear evidence that in some people, marijuana use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety and nausea." The National Institute on Drug Abuse added that the drug is linked to "school failure" and that high doses "can cause psychosis or panic when you're high," according to Fox News.
Of course, we know the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving. Similarly, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal showed that marijuana users who drove within three hours of smoking nearly doubled their chances of causing a crash compared with sober drivers. And the American Society of Addiction Medicine just released a statement saying the drug "impairs memory, motor function and respiratory health when smoked -- and can be addictive."
To say marijuana isn't so dangerous as alcohol is like saying a plain doughnut isn't so bad for us as a glazed one. The point is what? Wouldn't it simply be better to ditch the doughnuts from our diets and try whole-wheat toast with organic peanut butter and sliced bananas as a more nutritious way to start our days?
It suffices to say here that justifying the use of one drug because it's not so dangerous as another drug is weak reasoning in any book and bad grounds for justifying usage of either of them. And such a statement coming from a sitting president of the United States is simply reckless leadership run amok.
As far as why the president gave his pro-marijuana comments to The New Yorker, I think Donald Moorse, a Portland, Ore., medical marijuana dispensary owner, hit the cannabis nail right on the head: The president's views "will influence people throughout the country. I think that's why he made the comments."
And how does the president justify his pro-marijuana stance? He believes that if marijuana is legalized, fewer young blacks and Latinos will be imprisoned.
Obama said about the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado: "It's important for it to go forward because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."
And he explained who those "select few" are when he said: "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties."
Fox News summarized that "the president echoed the argument that pro-legalization advocates often make, stressing the cost to society of locking up minor drug offenders."
So let me get this straight: If pot is legalized, we pay less to incarcerate minor drug offenders by unleashing and increasing major pot smokers and smoking in every stratum of society as if there will be no price to pay -- personal, monetary or otherwise -- in doing so?
No wonder the Drug Free America Foundation said on its website this past week about Obama: "His laissez-faire attitude about legalization has drug policy and prevention experts scratching their heads in confusion as to why the President will not give clear guidance on this important issue."
The foundation went on to say, "President Obama is surrounded by ... myriad ... experts who have voiced serious concerns about the harms of marijuana and rejected legalization, so either he is seriously ill-informed about the issue or is completely ignoring warnings from his highly-esteemed advisers."
Fox News also noted that Obama's own Office of National Drug Control Policy "lists a range of negative health and mental consequences from the drug, including schizophrenia, lower IQ ('as much as an 8 point drop') and higher risk of heart attack."
More double talk and more double standards from the White House. How shocking.
Remember the days when presidents modeled and espoused healthy living, beginning by denouncing drug use rather than justifying it?
Maybe it's time we fight all addictive drugs instead of making excuses for using them. Maybe it's time we teach and model for young people that life can be good enough on its own merit without altering reality by drug use.
I'm not here making a case for or against the medicinal use of marijuana. However, it's very difficult for me to believe that America, average healthy Americans and particularly our younger generations are going to be better off with pot's legalization.
I'm all for freedom, but when liberty turns into licentiousness, it's time to reconsider why we're doing what we're doing. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. And if that's the case, what other illicit passion is going to be next in the lineup of legalization?
So we need government to tell us what we can consume and what we cannot. Hurray!
Chuck Norris didn’t say that
thanks for this
Decriminalize don’t legalize
Three things to consider:
Will it improve lives of adults and children?
Will it be neutral in its effects?
Will it be harmful?
The giddy rush to spread legalization is following the same pattern as same-sex marriage. The libs have perfected their media marketing method of causing instant change in our opinions and then our society. We rarely look ahead to what WE see as unintended consequences. THEY, however, intend those consequences to be a surprise to us.
Rapid change in a society is potentially disastrous, and that is the obama plan. “Change but forget the Hope.”
It’s not a matter of the degree of badness(!). Alcohol is often consumed for reasons other than intoxication, while marijuana is almost never consumed for reasons other than intoxication, except for medical uses.
The main issue is if the government has a role in this at all, and it is being fought over where is should be - in the states. The Federal government has no Constitutionally sanctioned role in this.
Leave it to the voters of the several states. This is a states rights issue. The Feds can kindly butt out.
"To say marijuana isn't so dangerous as alcohol is like saying a plain doughnut isn't so bad for us as a glazed one. The point is what? Wouldn't it simply be better to ditch the doughnuts from our diets and try whole-wheat toast with organic peanut butter and sliced bananas as a more nutritious way to start our days?"
If the litmus test to good legislation is
Will it improve the lives of adults and children?
Will it be neutral in it’s effects?
Will it be harmful?
...than shouldn’t we pass laws that mandate every American to wake up early in the morning, excerise for two hours, and then eat granola and peanut butter to start the day. Arguably that would create a healthier society with less obesity, which according to the above would be a good thing. There really isn’t much harm in excercise and a good diet, right?
But that goes entirely against the grain of liberty, which allows people to sleep until noon, eat sugary and unhealthy cereal instead of granola and peanut butter, and sit on the couch.
Here we go again. So which Freeper with LDS will weigh in first?
I’m not proposing it as a litmus test for legislation.
I’m asking people to think about legalizing weed. I’ve never met any adult or child who was better stoned. At least THEY think they are better.
Other than toasting in celebration and partaking of the Eucharist, if you are Catholic, what other reasons are there to consume alcohol? How many drinkers do you know who take a few sips from a glass a few times a year?
I agree with your sentiment though. The government has no right to legislate people health, well being or productivity.
>Other than toasting in celebration and partaking of the Eucharist, if you are Catholic, what other reasons are there to consume alcohol? How many drinkers do you know who take a few sips from a glass a few times a year?<
Alcohol kills so many people. Alcoholism is a disease that not only destroys its victims, but it also can and does destroy the victim’s family members. That said, it’s legal and history has shown that making it illegal caused crime to skyrocket.
Decriminalizing marijuana should possibly be considered; because we know making it illegal does not lessen its use and it most obviously causes crime, rather than stops it.
How anyone can smoke that stinking weed is beyond me
I’m Jewish. We have many occasions for partaking of potent potables, and for thanking the almighty for providing the occasions and the fruit of the vine.
“Here we go again. So which Freeper with LDS will weigh in first?”
Latter Day Saints? What do the Mormons have to do with it?
Is there a difference?
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